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Hvard Kongsrud




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2016 3:43 am    Post subject: the norse term spalener as textile padding?         Reply with quote

In the Norwegian Hirdskr (Royal Household law replacing older laws) from ca 1275, saved in an early 14th century manuscript, the word spaldener is used synonymous to vapntriu as a padded garment beneath mail or another layer of textile armour (gambeson, pannzare) or standalone as styrka vapntryu. The word is also found in a 1331 diploma when a groom was given "eina logbok, eina plato, it spaldenre ok eina sng" (a lawbook, a coat of plates, a spaldener and a bed)

In Fritzner's Old Norse Dictionary from 1896 the word is linked to the Middle High German word spaldenier which in Lexer's 1876 dictionary together with Spalier is given the same definition. From the 15th century (if I don't read too much into the entry, my German is a bit rusty) Lexer connects the word to the french espalde, (ME spaudeler) shoulder (plate) armour as discussed here.

I'm not well traversed in the later martial litterature and the question is wether this word for a padding garment has been further discussed or if the two separate middle high german meanings are considered uncontroversial?


Last edited by Hvard Kongsrud on Tue 15 Mar, 2016 2:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2016 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: the norse term spalener as textile padding?         Reply with quote

Hvard Kongsrud wrote:
In the Norwegian Hirdskr (Royal Household law replacing older laws) from ca 1275, saved in an early 14th century manuscript, the word spaldener is used synonymous to vapntriu as a padded garment beneath mail or another layer of textile armour (gambeson, pannzare) or standalone as styrka vapntryu.


Are the words synonymous, or are the two items made in the same manner, i.e. quilted textile armors? The lendener which covers the loin is constructed like the pourpoint, without being identical. The padded espalier would seem to be contemporary -

P.S. What is the meaning of the base word -tryu? The compound styrka vapntryu basically means strong weapons (or arms) -tryu, so a garment of some kind? I wonder if there is a parallel in another language.



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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2016 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: the norse term spalener as textile padding?         Reply with quote

I am not a linguist but the term vapntriu sounds rather familiar. I read it as

vapn - weapon-wapen-waffe-wǣpen-vben-vapen

triu sounds an awful lot like the dutch word trui (try) which means sweater, though it has only been known as a sweater since the 19th century. In turn the word trui is derived from the Middle Low Dutch/German word troie or tro(i)ge, I reckon this could mean either a simple piece of clothing or a padded piece of armor like a gambeson or wambuis.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/treyja

And maybe there is a french or Latin connection too: troie or troga

So quite literal I would say it's a weapon-coat. Whether this is a heraldic arming coat or a wambuis/gambeson I do not know but I hope this helped someone.



EDIT: I did a quick an dirty google search for the Middle low German word Troie and this is what I found:

http://www.koeblergerhard.de/Mittelniederdeut...eutsch.htm

Quote:
troie, trge, troige, f., Jacke, Wamms, zur kriegerischen Ausrstung gehrend, diplois.
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2016 10:53 am    Post subject: Re: the norse term spalener as textile padding?         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
P.S. What is the meaning of the base word -tryu?

Roughly "shirt" or "jersey".

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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2016 11:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, gentlemen.

Back to the original query, Nicolle gives the 13th century Rule of the Templars calling for an espalier, which he suggests as a padded shoulder defense.
LINK

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Hvard Kongsrud




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2016 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep. vapntryu is well established as the common old norse word for gambeson. Trju is by Fritzener considered to mean the same as kjortel (kirtle/tunic), but from the 13th-14th century sources it seem to be used synonymous with a padded garment by itself. In a mid 13th century kompilation of the Didrik's saga you even find the term treyjuhosa for arming hose - "ok hggr hans ftlegg sv hart, at sundr tk treyjuhosuna ok sv brynhosuna ok sv ftinn". ("and he cut his lower leg so hard that he broke both the arming hose and mail hose and his leg too".)

The text reads spalndener ea vapntriu, chapter 35, in other versions spaldenra -; spalldener. eda -; spaldenera -; spandiner ea -; spanderar edr -; spanderat edr -; skialldmr edr -.

The word 'ea' is commonly translated with 'or' and apparently the Norwegian and German lingivsts mentioned considered the items to be identical or at least interchangeable. However 'ea' could also be translated with 'and', opening up for your suggestion, Mart, that the old lingvists were wrong and the word already in the 13th century referring to a padded collar like the espalier linked to.

We would expect something like this from 13th century Strassbourg then.
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Mar, 2016 9:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Identical vs. interchangeable is an interesting consideration. Many of the armor regulations are quite specific, for example requiring an aketon and plates in England, yet we see musters accepting other combinations as functionally equivalent, such as aketon and mail, or aketon with a second gambeson.
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Watch and Ward at the City Gates.
25 Edward I. A.D. 1297. Letter-Book B. fol. xxxiii. old numeration. (Latin.)

It was ordered that every bedel shall make summons by day in his own Ward, upon view of two good men, for setting watch at the Gates;and that those so summoned shall come to the Gates in the day-time, and in the morning, at day-light, shall depart therefrom. And such persons are to be properly armed with two pieces; namely, with haketon and gambeson, or else with haketon and corset, or with haketon and plates.

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Hvard Kongsrud




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PostPosted: Wed 16 Mar, 2016 12:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you. I take it the corset is some kind of armour covering the torso only?
A further question is that if the french word espalier is found in Middle English only from the 15th century after it found new use as a word for the shoulder plates (later pauldrons), and that the English too in the 13th century was familiar with the older item associated with the term, what were their name for it?
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Wed 16 Mar, 2016 2:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hvard Kongsrud wrote:
Thank you. I take it the corset is some kind of armour covering the torso only?
A further question is that if the french word espalier is found in Middle English only from the 15th century after it found new use as a word for the shoulder plates (later pauldrons), and that the English too in the 13th century was familiar with the older item associated with the term, what were their name for it?


Based on a number of accounts, the corset appears to have been a sleeveless mail vest.

An espaulier of black cendal is mentioned in the 1224 inventory of Fawkes de Breaute (Falkes de Breaut), further suggesting a padded textile defense.
http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=20765&view=previous

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Len Parker





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PostPosted: Thu 17 Mar, 2016 6:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's something in Njal's Saga called a silkitreyju.
S var silkitreyju og hafi gylltan hjlm en hri bi miki og fagurt. Sj maur hafi spjt gullreki hendi.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Mar, 2016 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hvard Kongsrud wrote:
Yep. vapntryu is well established as the common old norse word for gambeson. Trju is by Fritzener considered to mean the same as kjortel (kirtle/tunic), but from the 13th-14th century sources it seem to be used synonymous with a padded garment by itself. In a mid 13th century kompilation of the Didrik's saga you even find the term treyjuhosa for arming hose - "ok hggr hans ftlegg sv hart, at sundr tk treyjuhosuna ok sv brynhosuna ok sv ftinn". ("and he cut his lower leg so hard that he broke both the arming hose and mail hose and his leg too".)


Interesting, you have any source that vapntreyja is definitely a gambeson/padded jack?
What I can surmise is that a vapntreyja (old icelandic) could also be interpreted as a surcoat (and Kjortel is a name fitting a long loose surcoat much more than a gambeson!)?

Some Scandinavian garment words are from French through a Low German intermediate and through time the words changes in meaning and not so many are "originally" Scandinavian.

Germanic *Rukka -> Anglo-Saxon Rocc, Old German Rok, Old Icelandic Rokkr, Old Swedish Rokker.
This seems to originally denote fur/skin used as protective garments.
Later Swedish Vapenrock and German Wappenrock/Waffenrock denotes a surcoat and today in Swedish it denotes a military uniform-jacket!

Latin Curtus (cut/short)-> Anglo Saxon Cyrtil (-> English Kirtle) -> Old Icelandic Kyrtil, Old Swedish Kiortil/Kiurtil -> Modern Danish/Swedish Kjortel
+ (also the derived Danish Kjole, which today means a female dress including a skirt, though it is still in use for the male "white tie evening dress").

Old French Jacque -> Middle German Jacke -> Danish Jakke, Old Icelandic Jakka, Swedish Jacka [and also English Jack, Italian Giaco, Spanish Jaco] more securely denotes a gambeson in my opinion [in its medieval meaning, not the modern].

Provancal? or Old French Troie (from the town Troyes, pronounced /Troy/) -> Middle German Trye, Troie, Treie -> Danish Trje/Trie, Old Icelandic Treyja (and many other spelling variants), Swedish Trja.
It is quite unclear to me whether this is a "gambeson" or a "surcoat"? A vapntreyja could be a "military surcoat"?

Latin Vestis -> French Veste -> German Weste -> Danish Vest, Swedish Vst. [british english "waist"-coat is etymologically unrelated, but is called a "vest" in american english].
This is a spread of fashion in the latter part of the 1600's.
Today is interestingly denotes protective armour such as a "kevlar vest" (because it is sleeveless armour).

Old French Froc -> English Frock, German Frack -> Danish Frakke.
In Danish the word Frakke takes the meaning of Rok (from around 1700).

Old Icelandic Skyrta, Old English Scyrte
A) Old English Scyrta -> English Shirt
B) Old Danish word akin to Old Icelandic Skyrta, probably *Skiorte -> English Skirt.

So both Shirt and Skirt originally means "short" - but an English sound change caused sk -> sh which didn't happen in Scandinavia. [Fisk -> Fish, Skib -> Ship for instance].
English ended up with a native word and a loanword from Danish for the same garment. With time the two words starting to mean two different things in English.

There is a lot of changes in what precisely the words mean over time.

It seems at least in Denmark that the old meaning of Rok as protective garment is changed into -> Jakke and/or Trje (probably both late medieval, but I haven't figured which is first and which is later) -> but would in the 1800's be called Frakke!
In the 1500's new fashion dictated that a high-fashion short garment for men couldn't be called a "trie" as the word wasn't "fine" enough, so you called a "fine" short dress "Kjortel" even though before Kjortel/Kjole meant a long garment!
Common short dress was still called "trie".

The etymologically correct word for a gambeson in Danish would be the old word "Vams".
1) Greek Bambax (Cotton) -> Latin Vambasium -> Middle High German Wambeis, Old French Wambais -> loaned into Old Danish as Vams.
2) Old French Wambais -> Medieval French Gambeson/Gambaison
So the word is loaned into Danish BEFORE the change of the word in French.
While Danish "vams" in medieval times denoted a garment worn UNDER the armour (at least until 1350) and thereafter until 1600 OVER the armour. Today "Vams" means a thick and warm garment, but is getting archaic as a word.

So its quite interesting that this word apparently doesn't appear in icelandic manuscripts from 1200-1300's to my knowledge. Seems Danish vikings has more Merovingian/Carolingian contacts than Norwegians (which settled in Iceland)?

Today what the Danish words garments means [would be interesting to see what it is for other languages!]:
Frakke -> long heavy overcoat reaching around the knees.
Jakke -> overcoat reaching to around the waist.
Kjortel (archaic in use) -> loose (medieval) garment of varying length which you take on and off over your head.
Trje -> Long sleeved and short garment reaching the waist. Has a collar OR a V-shaped or round neck.
Skjorte -> Short garment with long or short sleeves, but has buttons in the front, stiff collar and is made of a thin smooth fabric.


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Fri 18 Mar, 2016 10:34 am; edited 2 times in total
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Mar, 2016 11:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And to add to the confusion, the term used for textile armors in the Norwegian Konungs-skuggsj from c.1250 is panzara, which is used both beneath and above mail, and as an independent armor on board ship.

Sometimes I think we need a Venn diagram to show the relationships among all of the textile armor references over time.

Most English dictionaries show the etymology of gambeson/wams to be from wamba/womb, meaning the belly.

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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Mar, 2016 3:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
And to add to the confusion, the term used for textile armors in the Norwegian Konungs-skuggsj from c.1250 is panzara, which is used both beneath and above mail, and as an independent armor on board ship.

Sometimes I think we need a Venn diagram to show the relationships among all of the textile armor references over time.

Most English dictionaries show the etymology of gambeson/wams to be from wamba/womb, meaning the belly.


Yeah the Middle High German Wambeis is probably derived from Old High German "Wamba" (= stomach, cognate to English womb). The Danish cognate "Vom" means belly (usually used in the composite lvom = Alebelly).

That panzera used in the Norwegian "Kings-Mirror" from 1250 is interesting, since I found a complaint in 1342. [During the period where German counts collected money from the Danish territories because of King Christoffer II lavish spendings on tournaments and warfare had made him pawn the entire Kingdom -> Sjlland with Copenhagen, Scania and Lolland was pawned to Count Johan III of Holstein-Pln].
The citizens of Wismar, Greifswald, Stralsund, Hamburg, Lbeck & Rostock conducts an official complaint later in 1342 for extensive "piracy" by Count Johan's men from Copenhagen - conducted between 1340-1342 by Markvard von Stove the elder & Otto von Galenbek. In 1340 they had invited traders to Copenhagen without any cost and promising security and friendship and clearly broke these promises.

The report I only have in Danish translation, but it states that among many things they stole from Baldvin Vetteroggen we find some equipment:
A "panzer" from Flanders (is meaning still textile armour OR now plate mail?), a "brynjeharnisk" (very likely a full mail), a "vbentrje" with marten-skin (so gambeson or surcoat? also note it says "with" and not "of"), a jernhat (= iron hat, so typical kettlehat) and a shield.
That is some costly equipment being stolen!
The panzer is not listed for worth, but the Brynjekarnisk was deemed worth 2 Mark and 3 Skilling (German "schilling") and the "vbentrje" was deemed worth 12 skilling in the complaint.

Interestingly this could be a reason for the creation of the Hanseatic League in 1356, so to avoid this kind of action in the future.

Shame I can't find the Low German Original on the net, only a Danish translation.
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Hvard Kongsrud




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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2016 3:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the reference to Njal's saga, Len, translating something like "He was wearing his silk shirt (or gambeson?) and had a gilded, very hard and lovely helm." It is written down in the late 13th century and describes events said to take place in the late 10th century, but there are no reason to believe that descriptions of armour are accurate for the period described.

Thanks for the reference to the 1224 inventory of Fawkes de Breaute (Falkes de Breaut), Mart.

And thank you, Niels, for giving the oportunity to dwell deeper into this other term. First a little backtracking is in order. The centence should read "Vapntryu is well established as a common old norse word for gambeson." - not 'the'. As Mart notes, panzara, is another established word in the period at hand. I will not dwell into the distinctions between panzara and vapntrju now. The Norse terminology is covered in Endre Fodstad's 2005 article, Vpentrye og panser i hymiddelalder. I'm afraid that a source which is as definitive as the Ordonnances des Mtiers de Paris from 1296 still eludes us, but the Konungs skuggsj and especially the Hirskr gives valuable insights into the nature of the garment. In the 13th century and later the word 'vapn' ment both 'weapon' and 'armour'. At some point in time it also came to denote 'arms' as in 'coat of arms'. This primary and secondary meaning has led to some mixup of the word 'vapntrju' with an outer garment with no other function than identification, in modern Norwegian called vpenkjole. Do not think of shapes like a padded jack. A jack is a far shorter (and later) garment. Think more in line of thinner versions of what you see in the Macieowski bible and this MacDuffie-dude.


It is wrong of us to consider questions of the past to be a single pussle to be solved. At best the past can be seen as a number of different pussles, set apart chronologically, geographically and socially. For each pussle most pieces are distorted or missing, and our first job is to exclude those that belong to the wrong ones. The late 19th- and early 20th century pioners in our field often underplayed this problem. Furthermore, etymology often clouds thing up more thant it solves, as etymological meaning often cannot be pinpointed in time. As you said, Niels, words change their meaning with time and invention, so for the meaning of word to be accurately identified one must rely on descriptions in original from the time and place in question. Using translations put us at the mercy of the outdated or ignorant. Ad fontes!

By the piracy- I recon you're reffering to Danmarks Riges Breve 3. rkke, 1. bind, referred in modern danish here. (It says brystharnisk, not brynjeharnisk b.t.v.) They have not digitalised their diplomas older than 1400 yet, and I'm guessing it's translated from Middle Low German. Can you obtain the original text?
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar, 2016 8:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hvard Kongsrud wrote:
And thank you, Niels, for giving the oportunity to dwell deeper into this other term. First a little backtracking is in order. The centence should read "Vapntryu is well established as a common old norse word for gambeson." - not 'the'. As Mart notes, panzara, is another established word in the period at hand. I will not dwell into the distinctions between panzara and vapntrju now. The Norse terminology is covered in Endre Fodstad's 2005 article, Vpentrye og panser i hymiddelalder. I'm afraid that a source which is as definitive as the Ordonnances des Mtiers de Paris from 1296 still eludes us, but the Konungs skuggsj and especially the Hirskr gives valuable insights into the nature of the garment. In the 13th century and later the word 'vapn' ment both 'weapon' and 'armour'. At some point in time it also came to denote 'arms' as in 'coat of arms'. This primary and secondary meaning has led to some mixup of the word 'vapntrju' with an outer garment with no other function than identification, in modern Norwegian called vpenkjole. Do not think of shapes like a padded jack. A jack is a far shorter (and later) garment. Think more in line of thinner versions of what you see in the Macieowski bible and this MacDuffie-dude.



Thanks Hvard for the link to Fodstad's article! Happy
What is important then is that the term "vapn"/vben originally was used of both weapons and armour and first later also for coat-of-arms (~1300 ?). Today it means weapon and coat-of-arms, but not armour (!), so that is an interesting development.

So modern Norwegian use Vbenkjole for an identification surcoat - is it used only if it reaches the feet or as a general term in Norwegian?
You can use the term "Vbenkjole" in Danish, but only if it reaches the feet, otherwise its a "Vbenfrakke". This late in time both these terms designates uniforms.
So what you say is that the secondary use of "vapn" for coat-of-arms lead at some point for these identification surcoats to be called "Vapntrju" (perhaps from ~1350?). So we have a change of meaning of the word at some point.

Hvard Kongsrud wrote:

It is wrong of us to consider questions of the past to be a single pussle to be solved. At best the past can be seen as a number of different pussles, set apart chronologically, geographically and socially. For each pussle most pieces are distorted or missing, and our first job is to exclude those that belong to the wrong ones. The late 19th- and early 20th century pioners in our field often underplayed this problem. Furthermore, etymology often clouds thing up more thant it solves, as etymological meaning often cannot be pinpointed in time. As you said, Niels, words change their meaning with time and invention, so for the meaning of word to be accurately identified one must rely on descriptions in original from the time and place in question. Using translations put us at the mercy of the outdated or ignorant. Ad fontes!


Totally agree there.
It's just that you can use the etymology to reconstruct the initial meaning for a "technical item", ergo when the term is coined for the first time. Then with time you often see a change (or gradual glide) in meaning and that is in itself very interesting from a linguistic point of view. With more knowledge of these changes, then it becomes possible to make better translations of original texts to avoid spreading misunderstandings.
It's also important to note that when a linguistic glide takes place you will have intermediate periods with confusion. One person use the term in the old way, another in the new way and some use them for both.
Clothing terms seems to really unstable. Especially when translating between Norwegian, Danish and Swedish you also have to be careful as the meaning of the same word might not be entirely the same. Same goes when having older texts in your own language.

Hvard Kongsrud wrote:
By the piracy- I recon you're reffering to Danmarks Riges Breve 3. rkke, 1. bind, referred in modern danish here. (It says brystharnisk, not brynjeharnisk b.t.v.) They have not digitalised their diplomas older than 1400 yet, and I'm guessing it's translated from Middle Low German. Can you obtain the original text?


You are absolutely correct - I had been seeing phantoms when going through tons of sites. Brystharnisk it is.
So it is etymologically cognate with English "breast-harness" and should mean any kind of chest protection whether of metal (plate or mail) or leather. Since it is listed specifically at 2 Mark 3 Skilling (where what was translated as panzer was not) it was deemed valuable so probably plate or mail.
The word "Harnisk" was likely loaned into Danish from Middle Low German harnasch/harn(i)sch.
It a shame the originals are not available on the internet yet. Sadly I don't have access to the original texts, but if it was written in anything else than Middle Low German I would be very surprised.


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Thu 24 Mar, 2016 3:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Hvard Kongsrud




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Mar, 2016 3:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm drifting a bit now, but here goes. I had a look into a word used for tabard/arming surcoat in Old Norse, vpnrokkr. As opposed to Vpntreyja, it seem to be connected with the secondary meaning of vpn as coat of arms. Johan Fritzner's Ordbog over Det gamle norske Sprog from 1883 on is still the Standardwerk on the Old Norse language. It defines the word as 'Trie som bres udenpaa Brynjen' (a shirt carried over mail). In more recent translations the words 'vpenkjole', 'vpenfrakk' or simply 'overplagg' ('outer garment') are used. Fritzner showed one reference: An Old Norse version of the Legends about Dietrich von Bern, Didrikssagaen.

- ok n er hgginn af honum hans hjlmhttr ok hans vpnrokkr ok sulkli, eer af silki var gert, en heill er hans hjlmr ok brynja, hestr er ekki srr.

Fritzner found no version of the word rokkr on its own, which he translated 'kjortel' (kirtle) based on definitions from Old- and Middle High German, but found it in the combinations brynjurokkr and skinnrokkr. The first of the two is found in the Karlmagnus saga and the second in the Pamphilus saga. By some searching I was able to obtain a few other uses of the word vpnrokkr, five more in the Didrikssaga and one in the Volsungesaga (Vlsunga saga). These are as far as I know the only known uses of combinations of the word rokkr in Old Norse.

- sundr snei brynjurokkin me brynju ok ar me halsinn
- hann ht mr fornt skinn ok skinnrokk from latin Promisit ueteres cum pellicia michi pelles
- He had his coat of arms on merki snu ok sli ok vpnrokk
- His coat of arms was on llum snum vpnum ok hann hefir merki ok vpnrokk
- Whitepainted skjld, sul, vpnrokk, merki, hjlmhtt
- Painted a snake with red gold on hjlmhetti, sli, vpnrokk, merki og skildi
- hans hjlmhttr ok hans merki ok hans sull ok vpnrokkr
- Hans skjldr carried the descirbed symbol, as was markar hans hjlmr ok sull ok vpnrokkr (vopnrokkur).

And now to the interesting part. All sources can be traced to compilations made around the middle of the 13th century. Furthermore, all relevant sources place the garment as used over mail and in most cases carrying a coat of arms. Except the poetic Pamphilus saga all are written in prose, and the word skinnrokkr has been theorized to be a direct translation from medieval latin. In Old Norse, therefore, the words vpnrokkr and brynjurokkr kan be shown to have only a rather exact meaning as (arming) surcoat in the mid 13th century.
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Mar, 2016 6:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In Diu Crne from c.1220-1230, Heinrich von dem Trlin uses wfenroc for the heraldic surcoat over mail. Arming for the tournament, the contestants don mail chausses, knee plates, gambeson, collar, hauberk, mail coif, arrange their armor, and top it off with another gambeson or silk surcoat.
Quote:
An dem andern morgen
Vil gar unverborgen
Manie belt ze velde san,
Der sn hosen schuobte an,
Dar ber sin schellier;

190 Ein wambeis unde ein collier
Muost er haben dar nch:
Hie mite was ime niht gch;
S muost ein halsperc wesen d b,
Dar nch zwn knappen oder dr,

195 Die ime die coifen stricten
Und daz wfen als schicten,
Daz ez im wre behende;
Dar nch an dem ende
Gehrte vr die brust ein blat:

200 Was er iht an der ritter stat,
Dswr, s muostz d vur:
Des gewan er michel gever,
Ob er wolte stechen;
Ouch sei er niht zebrechen,

205 Ein wambeis sol dar ber sn,
Oder ein wfenroc sdn:
S ver er wol in ritters schn.


In Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan of c. 1210, the embroidered heraldic surcoat is again called a wfenroc.
Quote:
ein wfenroc wart dar getragen,
der was, als ich hrte sagen,
mit drihen in den spelten


Unfortunately, both gambesons and surcoats start appearing about the same time, c.1160 and1180, so it's difficult to rule out either item being designated based upon a chronological distinction.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

Posts: 261

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2016 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From The King's Mirror:
"When fighting on foot he is to wear a byrnie or a panzar,"
So here a panzar is not mail. According to Oakeshott a panzar is a gambeson.

Here is a pansara In Njal's Saga:
Skarphinn snarai svo fast skjldinn a Sigmundur lt laust sveri. Skarphinn hj enn til Sigmundar me xinni Rimmuggi. Sigmundur var pansara. (Sigmund wore a pansara).

I was always under the impression that there were no mentions of vikings wearing gambesons in the sagas.
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Hvard Kongsrud




Location: Norge
Joined: 10 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2016 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the great reference, Mart!

Len Parker wrote:
From The King's Mirror:
"When fighting on foot he is to wear a byrnie or a panzar,"
So here a panzar is not mail. According to Oakeshott a panzar is a gambeson.

Here is a pansara In Njal's Saga:
Skarphinn snarai svo fast skjldinn a Sigmundur lt laust sveri. Skarphinn hj enn til Sigmundar me xinni Rimmuggi. Sigmundur var pansara. (Sigmund wore a pansara).

I was always under the impression that there were no mentions of vikings wearing gambesons in the sagas.

Yep. The vikings wear all sorts of anachronistic stuff in the sagas. Written down in prose in the 13th century, Njal's saga, like the images of the time, present people in ways they and the readers are familiar with. It is common to make a distinction with the poetic verses which can have more arcaic information frozen in a metric structure. But they too can be difficult to work with as the ol' vikings loved their queer allusions. Wink

Yes, panzar is a well established word for gambeson in Old Norse too. The distinctions between that and the vapntrju , when any distinctions are made (hirdskr ca 1270 and King's mirror ca 1250-60) are:
- vapntrju = blautan panzara - for use beneath an hauberk
- styrka vapntryu = panzara - for use as a standalone armour or over blautan panzar in stead of hauberk.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Mar, 2016 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hvard Kongsrud wrote:
I'm drifting a bit now, but here goes. I had a look into a word used for tabard/arming surcoat in Old Norse, vpnrokkr. As opposed to Vpntreyja, it seem to be connected with the secondary meaning of vpn as coat of arms. Johan Fritzner's Ordbog over Det gamle norske Sprog from 1883 on is still the Standardwerk on the Old Norse language. It defines the word as 'Trie som bres udenpaa Brynjen' (a shirt carried over mail). In more recent translations the words 'vpenkjole', 'vpenfrakk' or simply 'overplagg' ('outer garment') are used. Fritzner showed one reference: An Old Norse version of the Legends about Dietrich von Bern, Didrikssagaen.

- ok n er hgginn af honum hans hjlmhttr ok hans vpnrokkr ok sulkli, eer af silki var gert, en heill er hans hjlmr ok brynja, hestr er ekki srr.

Fritzner found no version of the word rokkr on its own, which he translated 'kjortel' (kirtle) based on definitions from Old- and Middle High German, but found it in the combinations brynjurokkr and skinnrokkr. The first of the two is found in the Karlmagnus saga and the second in the Pamphilus saga. By some searching I was able to obtain a few other uses of the word vpnrokkr, five more in the Didrikssaga and one in the Volsungesaga (Vlsunga saga). These are as far as I know the only known uses of combinations of the word rokkr in Old Norse.

- sundr snei brynjurokkin me brynju ok ar me halsinn
- hann ht mr fornt skinn ok skinnrokk from latin Promisit ueteres cum pellicia michi pelles
- He had his coat of arms on merki snu ok sli ok vpnrokk
- His coat of arms was on llum snum vpnum ok hann hefir merki ok vpnrokk
- Whitepainted skjld, sul, vpnrokk, merki, hjlmhtt
- Painted a snake with red gold on hjlmhetti, sli, vpnrokk, merki og skildi
- hans hjlmhttr ok hans merki ok hans sull ok vpnrokkr
- Hans skjldr carried the descirbed symbol, as was markar hans hjlmr ok sull ok vpnrokkr (vopnrokkur).

And now to the interesting part. All sources can be traced to compilations made around the middle of the 13th century. Furthermore, all relevant sources place the garment as used over mail and in most cases carrying a coat of arms. Except the poetic Pamphilus saga all are written in prose, and the word skinnrokkr has been theorized to be a direct translation from medieval latin. In Old Norse, therefore, the words vpnrokkr and brynjurokkr kan be shown to have only a rather exact meaning as (arming) surcoat in the mid 13th century.


Very interesting.
It thus seems that the "rokkr" was likely loaned into Icelandic from Middle Low German as a specific technical word for a surcoat with a coat-of-arms.
Then with time the words Vbenkjole or Vbenfrakke are used instead, but tending towards the meaning of "uniform" as we enter modern times (from 1800?)

I wonder of the "skinnrokkr" could instead of direct translation from latin be a medieval attempt to create an "old-school image" OR do we have any 13th century depictions of hide/leather surcoats with coat-of-arms on it?
The "brynjurokkr" probably indicate the normal situation - a textile garment with coat-of-arms depicted worn over mail.
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